Friday, June 1, 2018

Guess Where Allen Is!

It’s time to play a little game I like to call, “Guess Where Allen Is!” Go ahead. Guess! Did you guess? (Sorry, but I can’t actually hear you.) If you said, “Allen is back in the U.S., even though he and Trish just left the U.S. a few weeks ago,” then you should really go on a game show! He is in the U.S. Specifically, Allen is in Maryland, though he will soon be making his way to Ohio and Pennsylvania. This trip will last just over two weeks, and will involve making connections in churches in all three states.

The reason for the trip is simple. When Allen has the opportunity to speak to a missions committee at a church that is possibly interested in supporting Sowers4Pastors, he takes it! A couple of weeks ago, Allen, Russell, and Trish were hosting a vision team from Ohio. I spoke to two of the team members and wrote about their first impressions of Sowers4Pastors and their plans for future action.

In that blog post, Pastor Don mentioned he would be meeting with his church’s mission committee a couple of days after returning home. He was true to his word. In that meeting, the board decided to offer monthly support to Sowers4Pastors. They also donated $1000 earmarked for the motorcycle ministry, to help Pastor Omar purchase a motorcycle! In short, that church has some big ideas for ways Sowers4Pastors might partner with them. They invited Allen to go talk their church, personally. Hence, Allen repacked his newly unpacked suitcase and boarded a plane. (Random thought alert: “Hence” is a very underused word!)

As Trish explained, most church mission committees vote a budget in a certain month. They will say something like, “When the next cycle rolls around, we can vote on whether or not we can support you.” You see, partnerships don’t happen overnight. Naturally, churches want to “know” the missions ministries they are supporting.

The relationship with this church in Ohio hasn’t happened overnight, either. Trish talked about a gentleman in that congregation who has a tremendous heart for sponsoring children. He sponsors approximately 20 children through Manna 4 Lempira. This soft-spoken gentleman is very deliberate about letter writing. He sponsors young boys and mentors them through letters--encouraging them to stay in school and be serious about their faith.

Last year, Allen and Trish happened to be in the States, on a trip to collect backpacks, when they got word the Ohio church was going to be honoring this super sponsor in a Sunday service. It was also the day the honoree was having a fundraising dinner to raise money for sponsorships. Allen and Trish made a detour and were able to attend the service.

This is how connections are made. It’s almost like a courtship where the church and the missions ministry get to know each other to see if they are a good fit for each other.

In case you’re wondering, Trish decided to stay home to take care of responsibilities in Honduras. Also, she wanted to be available for Ben. And that’s why we’re not playing the game, “Guess Where Trish Is!” Maybe next time.

 - posted by Christi

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